Kurdistan province

(Redirected from Kurdistan Province)

Kurdistan Province (Persian: استان کردستان)[a] is one of 31 provinces of Iran. The province is 28,817 km2 in area and its capital is the city of Sanandaj.[7]

Kurdistan Province
Persian: استان کردستان
استان کردستان
Miyane village
Miyane village
Map of Iran with Kurdistan Province highlighted
Location of Kurdistan Province within Iran
Coordinates: 35°35′N 46°53′E / 35.583°N 46.883°E / 35.583; 46.883[1]
RegionRegion 3
 • Governor-generalEsmaeil Zarei Kousha
 • MPs of Assembly of ExpertsFaegh Rostami and
Eghbal Bahmani
 • Representative of the Supreme LeaderAbdolreza Pourzahabi
 • Total29,137 km2 (11,250 sq mi)
 • Total1,603,011
 • Density55/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+03:30 (IRST)
Main language(s)Persian (official)
local languages:[3]
Ardalan languages
HDI (2017)0.743[4]
high · 30th

Kurdistan Province is in the west of Iran, in Region 3. It borders the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to the west, and the Iranian provinces of West Azerbaijan to the north, Zanjan to the northeast, Hamadan to the east, and Kermanshah to the south.[8] It exists within both Iranian Kurdistan and Kurdistan.

At the time of the 2006 National Census, the province had a population of 1,416,334 inhabitants in 337,179 households.[9] The following census in 2011 counted 1,493,645 living in 401,845 households.[10] At the time of the most recent census in 2021, the population of the province had risen to 2,152,471 in 471,310 households.[2]


A soldier statue from Ziwiye hoard

The earliest human occupation of Kurdistan dates back to the Paleolithic Period when Neanderthals lived in the Sirwan Valley of Kurdistan more than 40,000 years ago.[11]

Administrative divisions



The population history and structural changes of Kurdistan Province's administrative divisions over three consecutive censuses are shown in the following table. Each county is named after the city that serves as its administrative capital.

Kurdistan Province
Counties 2006[9] 2011[10] 2016[2]
Baneh 116,773 132,565 158,690
Bijar 95,461 93,714 89,162
Dehgolan[b] 62,844 64,015
Divandarreh 82,628 81,963 80,040
Ghorveh 196,972 136,961 140,192
Kamyaran 104,704 105,996 102,856
Marivan 150,926 168,774 195,263
Sanandaj 409,628 450,167 501,402
Saqqez 205,250 210,820 226,451
Sarvabad 53,992 49,841 44,940
Total 1,416,334 1,493,645 1,603,011



According to the 2016 census, 1,134,229 people (over 70% of the population of Kurdistan Province) live in the following cities:[2]

City Population
Armardeh 2,305
Babarashani 509
Baneh 110,218
Bardeh Rasheh 1,020
Bijar 50,014
Bolbanabad 3,193
Buin-e Sofla 1,518
Chenareh 455
Dehgolan 25,992
Delbaran 6,713
Dezej 2,219
Divandarreh 34,007
Ghorveh 78,276
Kamyaran 57,077
Kani Dinar 13,059
Kani Sur 1,284
Marivan 136,654
Muchesh 3,370
Pir Taj 1,199
Saheb 3,101
Sanandaj 412,767
Saqqez 165,258
Sarvabad 5,121
Serishabad 7,196
Shuyesheh 1,302
Tup Aghaj 1,645
Uraman Takht 3,176
Yasukand 3,490
Zarrineh 2,091

Most populous cities


The following sorted table lists the most populous cities in Kurdistan in 2016.[2]

Rank City County Population
1 Sanandaj Sanandaj 412,767
2 Saqqez Saqqez 165,258
3 Marivan Marivan 136,654
4 Baneh Baneh 110,218
5 Qorveh Qorveh 78,276
6 Kamyaran Kamyaran 57,077
7 Bijar Bijar 50,014
8 Divandarreh Divandarreh 34,007
9 Dehgolan Dehgolan 25,992
10 Kani Dinar Marivan 13,059

Most of the people of this province speak Kurdish and other languages such as Azari and Persian are also common in this province.[13]



A significant majority of the people of Kurdistan province follow the Sunni denomination of Islam. A minority of Shia, Yarsanism and Christian followers also live in this province.[14][15][16][17]

Kurdistan men's clothing

The people of this province have special clothes that they have been wearing for centuries. The important point about the clothes of the people of this province is that even after the spread of modernism all over the world, the people of this province still try to be faithful to their past traditions in the field of lifestyle.[18][19][20][21][22]

Traditional womens clothing used in all parts of Kurdistan

Among the cultural symbols of Kurdistan people are Kurdish dance and singing. This cultural tradition is very popular not only in this province but also throughout the country.

Important annual celebrations

Hawraman female with traditional headdress decorated by coins
A Kurdish girl lighting a fire during Nowruz
Kurdish New Year ceremony of Nowruz, Palangan village, Hawraman, Kurdistan.

Nowruz is one of the most important ceremonies that has been celebrated by Iranians for millennia. Nowruz and related ceremonies are celebrated in the most opulent way possible in Kurdistan province. As the spring equinox, Nowruz marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, better i.e. the moment at which the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year. Traditional customs of Nowruz include fire and water, ritual dances, gift exchanges, reciting poetry, symbolic objects and more.[13][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

Chaharshanbe Suri

Chaharshanbeh Suri or Charshanbeh Suri is an Iranian festival of the fire dance celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year, of ancient Zoroastrian origin. It is the first festivity of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. In this celebration, people light fires on the mountains and on the roofs of houses, dance, rejoice and stomp their feet.[13][31][32][33]



Iranian Kurds make up the majority of the population, but Iranian Azeris populate the eastern provincial borderlands. Most of the Kurdish population speak Sorani Kurdish, but Southern Kurdish is spoken in the eastern parts of the province, including in Bijar and Dezej, while Gorani is the main language in many villages in the southwestern part of the province. Oghuz Turkic varieties can be found in the far-eastern part of the province, including in the cities of Delbaran, Pir Taj, Serishabad, Yasukand, and Tup Aghaj. These varieties are described as distinct from Iranian Azerbaijani, although they are closely related to it. While not being the primary language in any settlement in the province, Persian is increasingly becoming the first language, especially among the population in the eastern parts of the province.[3][18]

Kurdistan linguistic composition[3]
language percent


A fine old Senneh prayer kilim from the 19th Century

The major activities of the inhabitants are agriculture and modern livestock farming. Wheat, barley, grains and fruits are the major agricultural products. The chemical, metal, textile, leather and food industries are the main industrial activities in this province. This province has one of the largest rates of unemployment in Iran. According to Iranian statistics, more than twenty thousand people depend on being a kolbar for sustenance.[34][14]

Colleges and universities


See also


  Media related to Kurdistan Province at Wikimedia Commons

  Kurdistan (province) travel guide from Wikivoyage

  Iran portal


  1. ^ Also romanized as Kordestan Province and Ostān-e Kordestān; Kurdish: پارێزگای کوردستان, romanized as Parêzgay Kurdistan[5][6]
  2. ^ Separated from Ghorveh County after the 2006 census[12]


  1. ^ OpenStreetMap contributors (24 May 2024). "Kurdistan Province" (Map). OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 24 May 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1395 (2016)". AMAR (in Persian). The Statistical Center of Iran. p. 12. Archived from the original (Excel) on 8 May 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Mohammadirad, Masoud (2016). "Language distribution: Kordestan Province". Iran Atlas.
  4. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  5. ^ "ئەنجوومەنی دادوەری ئێران بەدواداچوون بۆ دۆسیەی گەندەڵی لە پارێزگای کوردستان دەکات". Naskurd (in Kurdish). Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Parêzgeha Kurdistanê qaremana pêşbirkên werzişên zorxaneyî yên Îranê". Sahar. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  7. ^ Habibi, Hassan (12 September 1990). "Approval of the organization and chain of citizenship of the elements and units of the national divisions of Kurdistan province, centered in the city of Sanandaj". Islamic Parliament Research Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran (in Persian). Ministry of Interior, Defense Political Commission of the Government Board. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  8. ^ "همشهری آنلاین-استان‌های کشور به ۵ منطقه تقسیم شدند (Provinces were divided into 5 regions)". Hamshahri Online (in Persian). 22 June 2014. Archived from the original on 23 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". AMAR (in Persian). The Statistical Center of Iran. p. 12. Archived from the original (Excel) on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1390 (2011)". Syracuse University (in Persian). The Statistical Center of Iran. p. 12. Archived from the original (Excel) on 19 January 2023. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  11. ^ Biglari, F and S. Shidrang (2019) Rescuing the Paleolithic Heritage of Hawraman, Kurdistan, Iranian Zagros, Near Eastern Archaeology 82 (4): 226-235.https://doi.org/10.1086/706536
  12. ^ Davodi, Parviz (8 August 1390). "Letter of approval regarding the reforms of country divisions in Kurdistan province". Islamic Parliament Research Center (in Persian). Ministry of Interior, Political-Defense Commission of the Government Board. Archived from the original on 29 October 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  13. ^ a b c Ahmady, Kameel.2023. From Border to Border (Comprehensive research study on identity and ethnicity in Iran), Scholars' Press publishes, Moldova.
  14. ^ a b Ahmady, Kameel (25 August 2022). "Ethnicity and Identities in Iran: Progress and Equality". International Journal of Kurdish Studies. 8 (2): 238–272. doi:10.21600/ijoks.1148638. ISSN 2149-2751.
  15. ^ Department Of State. The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs (14 September 2007). "Iran". 2001-2009.state.gov. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  16. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". 7 November 2017. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  17. ^ "Mamouri, Ali (December 1, 2013). "Iranian government builds bridges to Sunni minority". Al-Monitor. Retrieved January 25, 2015".
  18. ^ a b Ahmady, Kameel (25 January 2022). "A Peace-Oriented Investigation of the Ethnic Identity Challenge in Iran (A Study of Five Iranian Ethnic Groups with the GT Method)". International Journal of Kurdish Studies. 8 (1): 1–40. doi:10.21600/ijoks.1039049. ISSN 2149-2751.
  19. ^ Condra, Jill (9 April 2013). Encyclopedia of National Dress [2 volumes]. Santa Barbara, Calif: Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN 978-0-313-37637-5.
  20. ^ "Kurdish photos – 'A little Kurdish girl' Archived 2008-10-22 at the Wayback Machine". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  21. ^ Foundation, Encyclopaedia Iranica. "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  22. ^ "Clothing". Kurdish Central. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  23. ^ They celebrate the new year, which they call Chār shanba sur, on the first Wednesday of April, slightly later than the Iranian new year, Now-Ruz, on 21 March. (...) . The fact that Kurds celebrate the Iranian new year (which they call “Nawrôz” in Kurdish) does not make them Zoroastrian" – Richard Foltz (2017). "The “Original” Kurdish Religion? Kurdish Nationalism and the False Conflation of the Yezidi and Zoroastrian Traditions". Journal of Persianate Studies. Volume 10: Issue 1. pp. 93, 95
  24. ^ Nations, United. "International Nowruz Day". United Nations. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  25. ^ "Kurdish Newroz". The Kurdish Project. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  26. ^ Plimmer, Joe (21 March 2023). "Nowruz: Kurdish new year 2023 celebrations – in pictures". the Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  27. ^ "Nowruz: The Rebirth of Nature | Silk Roads Programme". en.unesco.org. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  28. ^ Khalid, Hewa Salam (2020). "Newroz from Kurdish and Persian Perspectives – A Comparative Study". Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies. 7 (1): 116–130. ISSN 2149-1291. JSTOR 48710250.
  29. ^ "Nowruz Brings Kurdish Unrest In Iran's North West". Iran International. 15 November 2023. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  30. ^ "Nowruz 2023: Kurdish new year celebrations in pictures". euronews. 24 March 2023. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  31. ^ "Persian fire-jumping festival delights Berkeley residents". The Daily Californian. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  32. ^ Razavi, Mahboobeh (1 March 2019). "Chaharshanbe Suri: Experiencing Iran's Fiery Festival". SURFIRAN Mag. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  33. ^ "Encyclopædia Iranica", Wikipedia, 9 November 2023, retrieved 15 November 2023
  34. ^ Fars News:The situation of kolbars vaguer than ever


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